DOLAN FAMILY WINEMAKING HISTORY

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BRYAN DOLAN

Bryan Dolan was born in Clare in 1930, the son of Arthur, the Clare High School headmaster. Arthur’s father and uncle, Arthur (Tim) and Thomas respectively, were the sons of Thomas Dolan, an Irish immigrant who settled in Clare in 1860. These two brothers initiated the Dolan winemaking passion and pedigree when they commenced developing an 88 acre vineyard and small winery in 1895 on Dolan Road at Stanley Flat, just north of the Clare township.

Bryan’s family moved to the South East of South Australia where he grew up in Naracoorte. This rural environment led him to enrol in agricultural studies at Roseworthy College. When the first oenology course was offered a year later, Bryan signed on and subsequently graduated in 1949.

That same year he accepted a job offered by Henry Martin, owner of the Stonyfell and Saltram vineyards and wineries. Initially as winery “manager” at Saltram in Angaston, the young Bryan actively assisted in the winemaking duties of local legend Fred Ludlow who was heading to retirement after over 50 years of service. Bryan officially took over winemaking in 1959 when Fred did eventually retire and soon after appointed Peter Lehmann as winemaker to replace him when he moved to Stonyfell to become winemaker and General Manager in 1960.

Bryan was a highly respected winemaker and industry contributor. His red wines in particular were held in high regard as wines of power and longevity, and he had the honour of being awarded amongst many other trophies and awards, the inaugural Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1962.

After 30 years at Saltram and Stonyfell Bryan left the company and spent the next ten years as Production Director for The Hardy Family Wine Company before retiring in 1999, ending a long and distinguished career in Australian Winemaking.

 

DOLAN FAMILY HISTORY

1885 WILLIAM (TIM) AND THOMAS, SONS OF THOMAS DOLAN DEVELOP AN 88 ACRE VINEYARD  AND SMALL WINERY IN CLARE VALLEY

William (Tim) and Thomas respectively, were the sons of Thomas Dolan, an Irish immigrant who settled in Clare circa 1860.

These two brothers initiated the Dolan winemaking passion and pedigree when they commenced developing an 88 acre vineyard and small winery in 1895 on Dolan Road at Stanley Flat, just north of the Clare township.

1949: NEXT GENERATION, BRYAN DOLAN, GRANDSON OF WILLIAM (TIM) GRADUATES THE FIRST OENOLOGY COURSE AT ROSEWORTHY COLLEGE

Bryan’s family moved to the southeast of South Australia where he grew up in Naracoorte. This rural environment led him to enrol in agricultural studies at Roseworthy College. When the first oenology course was offered a year later, Bryan signed on and subsequently graduated in 1949. That same year he accepted a job offered by Henry Martin, owner of the Stonyfell and Saltram vineyards and wineries.

1954 BRYAN DOLAN BECOMES SENIOR WINEMAKER AT SALTRAM

After graduating college in 1949 a young Brian Dolan was appointed manager at Saltram by Henry Martin. By 1954 Brian had taken full winemaking control at Saltram in the position of Senior Winemaker and was eventually promoted to General Manager of H.M Martin and Son in 1959. Brian continued as General Manager and later as Production Director through until 1979, concluding a distinguished 30-year involvement with Saltram winemaking.

1962: BRYAN WINS THE INAUGURAL JIMMY WATSON TROPHY

Bryan was a highly respected winemaker and industry contributor. His red wines in particular were held in high regard as wines of power and longevity, and he had the honour of being awarded amongst many other trophies and awards, the inaugural Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1962.

1981 BRYAN'S SON NIGEL DOLAN GRADUATES FROM ROSEWORTHY COLLEGE AND JOINS SEPPELTSFIELD

Like his father Bryan, Nigel Dolan graduated from Roseworthy College and commenced winemaking at Seppeltsfield in 1981.

At Seppelts, Nigel held a number of positions working initially as assistant fortified winemaker, then on to Senior Red winemaker as well as Winery Manager for both the Chateau Tanunda and Seppeltsfield Wineries.

1985: NIGEL WINS HIS FIRST BRISBANE WINE SHOW STODART TROPHY

1992 NIGEL JOINS SALTRAM AS SENIOR WINEMAKER AND WINERY MANAGER

During his 15 years at Saltram, Nigel kept winemaking responsibility for all of the Saltram wines while also undertaking other roles, including Group Red Winemaker for the Fosters Wine Group until he resigned in 2007. 

1992: NIGEL WINS HIS FIRST JIMMY WATSON TROPHY

Nigel and Bryan remain Australia’s only winemaking father and son to win the Jimmy Watson trophy: Bryan in 1962 and Nigel in both 1992 and 2003. 

1996: NIGEL WINS "ADVERTISER SOUTH AUSTRALIAN WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR"

1999: BRYAN RETIRES AFTER A LONG AND DISTINGUISHED CAREER IN AUSTRALIAN WINEMAKING

After 30 years at Saltram and Stonyfell Bryan left the company and spent the next ten years as Production Director for The Hardy Family Wine Company before retiring in 1999, ending a long and distinguished career in Australian Winemaking.

2000: NIGEL WINS 'BAROSSA WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR"

2000: NIGEL WINS HIS SECOND BRISBANE WINE SHOW STODART TROPHY

2002: NIGEL IS A FINALIST FOR THE "WINESTATE AUSTRALIAN WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR"

2003: NIGEL WINS HIS THIRD BRISBANE WINE SHOW STODART TROPHY

2003: NIGEL WINS HIS SECOND JIMMY WATSON TROPHY

2007: NIGEL ESTABLISHES DOLAN FAMILY WINES

In 2007 he established Dolan Family Wines with the clear vision and intention of producing a focused range of distinctive premium Barossa wines. Following the traditions of Bryan Dolan, Nigel and his son Timothy now continue a winemaking heritage that steps across six decades. Dolan's wines are distinctive, generous and reflective of variety and region, they also show a degree of personality.

2008: TIM DOLAN, SON OF NIGEL, GRADUATES FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

Living and growing up at Saltram in the Barossa, Nigel’s son Tim Dolan took a shine to winemaking at an early age, often to be found helping out the crusher crew after school during vintage time. In 2008, Tim completed his Oenology degree at The University of Adelaide. During and after his studies, Tim has worked and gained vintage experience in the Barossa, Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale, the Napa and Sonoma Valley’s in California as well as in Tuscany.

2009: NIGEL IS AWARDED "WINESTATE AUSTRALIAN WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR"